Writing Non-Fiction: The Essential Guide

Discover how to write and sell non-fiction for profit
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Instructed by Jane Bettany Academics / Humanities
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  • Lectures 27
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

Fancy earning a second income as a freelance writer? This course shows you how to create topical non-fiction articles and fillers that you can sell to magazine editors and other markets.

During the lessons you'll learn how to find ideas for your articles, and use your knowledge and experience to tap into a wide variety of magazine markets. The course guides you through the process of planning, researching and writing an article, and explains the importance of editing and proofreading. It teaches you exactly how to submit your work to an editor, and includes examples of how to lay out your typescript, create a cover sheet and write a query letter - in fact, everything you need to start your career as a freelance writer!

The course will teach you the essential elements of writing non-fiction and help you identify writing opportunities and markets in which you can sell your work.

Sign up for this course now to get your freelance career started. Go on to sell just ONE article, and the course will more than pay for itself!

And don't forget that the course is backed by Udemy's 30 day money-back guarantee. So, if you're not completely satisfied, you can ask for a full, no-questions-asked refund. You've got absolutely nothing to lose by enrolling on the course TODAY.

During the course we'll look at:

  • finding ideas
  • finding markets for your work
  • pitching a topic to multiple markets
  • commissioned articles, unsolicited manuscripts and query letters
  • types of non-fiction
  • planning and researching your article
  • making a start and moving it on
  • creating sidebars
  • the importance of photography and images
  • editing your work
  • proofreading tips
  • how to submit your work to an editor
  • how to develop a writing routine.

The course includes 17 videos and numerous downloadable writing exercises and handouts, plus a list of some of the current non-fiction markets.

I hope to welcome you as a student. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the course.

What are the requirements?

  • Whilst no formal qualifications or previous knowledge are required to complete this course, you must have enthusiasm for writing and be willing to share your knowledge and experience with others through the written word.
  • You must be able to use word processing software in order to prepare your manuscript for submission to an editor.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the essential elements of writing non-fiction articles
  • Know how to find topics to write about
  • Identify writing markets to which you can sell your work
  • Plan, research and write articles that will suit those markets
  • Confidently submit your work to an editor

Who is the target audience?

  • The course is aimed at new writers, or those who are looking to refresh their knowledge..

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

In this welcome video you will find out what to expect from the course and learn about the course tutor's writing background.

Section 2: Ideas and markets

This lesson looks at some of the ways you can start to generate ideas for your articles. It links to the next lesson, which is a writing exercise to help you focus on your own experience and knowledge and how you might turn this into saleable articles.


This exercise accompanies Lecture 3 - Finding Ideas - and will get you thinking about the experiences you could draw on to create non-fiction articles and fillers. You may want to download the PDF version and complete the exercise offline at a time that best suits you.


This lecture will help you understand the importance of finding a target market BEFORE you start to write your article. It also explains some of the ways in which you can explore potential writing markets and find out what their requirements are.


This list of markets for non-fiction articles is by no means comprehensive, but it will give you a good idea about the range of opportunities that are available for freelance writers and prompt you to research markets that relate to your own area of interest.


By adapting your ideas and topics so that they meet the needs of specific and very different markets, you can maximise your chances of selling your articles and increase your writing income. This video looks at the example of how a keen gardener could use the subject of 'gardening' to write numerous articles for very different magazines and readers.


This is a really useful exercise to get you thinking about how you can expand your reach with your article ideas.

This video includes suggested answers to the writing exercise in the previous lecture. You can listen to the video or, if you prefer to read the answer sheet, you can download it as a PDF.

This video explains the difference between a commissioned article, an unsolicited manuscript and a query letter. A sample query letter is included as a handout with this lesson.


In this video we consider some of the different ways of making money from non-fiction, from short fillers, readers letters and photographs, through to opinion pieces, reviews and feature articles.


In this lesson, we recap briefly on what we've learned in the course so far.

Section 3: Writing your articles and fillers

This lesson looks at what you will need to consider as you prepare to write your article.


The most obvious place to start your article is the beginning. This lesson discusses some of the ways to start writing.


This lesson looks at various ways to structure your article.


This lesson explains what sidebars are, why they are used and how you can create them.


You'll stand a much better chance of selling an article if you can provide photographs or other images to illustrate it. This short video considers some of the important points you'll need to remember if you intend to supply photos.

Section 4: Editing and proofreading your work

Editing is an important part of the writing process. This video discusses why it's so important. A downloadable Editing Tips handout is included.


This editing exercise will help you to start thinking about how to trim and tighten your writing to make it the best it can be.


Proofreading is an important task that many writers overlook. This lesson considers why it's so important to present your work professionally. A downloadable proofreading tips handout is included.


Test your proofreading skills with this quick proofreading exercise.

Section 5: An article example - from idea to outline and beyond

Take a look at an example article and read about the initial idea, the target market and the article outline.

The finished article
Section 6: Sending your work to an editor

You've planned, researched and written your article. This video will help you understand the process of submitting it to an editor.


So, you've written your article and sent it off. What happens next?


Once you start to write, it's important to keep going and to develop a regular writing routine. This video looks at some of the ways to do this.


Now that you've completed the course, you can use this 12-Step Action Plan as a prompt as you write your non-fiction articles.

Section 7: Bonus section

Thank you so much for joining me on this course. I hope you’ve found it useful. Please feel free to get in touch at any time if you have any questions about your writing projects.


If you’ve enjoyed learning with me and would like to sign up for another of my courses, you can use the code STUDENTSPECIAL to get them for $12 (or use the links below):

Write Stories With a Twist for $12


Writing Short Stories: The Essential Guide for $12



If you have completed 85% or more of the lessons in this course, you will automatically be entered into my monthly prize draw to win a writing critique (see the video in this Bonus Section for more details).


Finally, if you’d like to keep in touch, visit my blog at www.writingsuccess.co.uk/blog for more writing resources and updates or follow me on Twitter @JaneBettany

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Instructor Biography

Jane Bettany, Writer, Publisher, Creative Writing Teacher

Jane is a writer of short stories and non-fiction articles that have been published in women's magazines in the UK (such as My Weekly, People's Friend, Yours and Woman's Weekly), as well as in literary magazines and newspapers.

Her journey as a writer began with a childhood love of reading and books. As an adult, she enrolled for an evening class in creative writing and began to produce short stories. Her first story was published in 1992.

In 2004 Jane completed an MA in Creative Writing, which she found both challenging and enjoyable because it gave her an opportunity to try different genres and experiment with writing styles.

Jane has been a teacher of creative writing since 2007, and is always amazed at how much talent is out there and how many untold stories are waiting to be written. She loves helping others to develop their short story skills and find their writing voice.

Jane is based in Derby the UK and, as well as writing and teaching, she also runs a publishing and communications company.

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